Three women reached a World Poker Tour final table for the first time in history on Wednesday. But it was the men who dominated play at the WPT Venetian, with Chad Eveslage taking down the $5,000 DeepStack Poker Championship Series event for $910,370.
Still, it was a historic achievement and a potentially important one for the growth of the game.
“If we consider the percentage of women who entered this field, three making the final table is a tremendous statement about the talent of these women,” Poker League of Nations founder Lena Evans told CardsChat News. “For the final table to be 50% women shows how support for women poker players via education and staking is truly making a difference.”
Kitty Kuo, a PLON ambassador, was one of the final six to make the WPT’s televised table after wading through a field of 1,199 runners.
Last women standing
Kuo began play on Wednesday short-stacked, but was unable to find any traction before being eliminated in sixth place, which paid $192,855.
Shortly after Kuo busted, Daniela Rodriguez, also short-stacked, went out in fifth place, good for $252,945. Rodriguez, who is from Colombia and resides in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, is a recreational player who booked her first recorded live tournament score.
That left Kyna England, a Chicago-area player and instructor for Poker Powher, another group with a mission of helping women succeed at poker, as the last woman standing.
Still short-stacked, England found some luck with pocket jacks, tripling up against Eveslage’s AK and Mike Liang playing 9-7 suited when the board ran out 10-8-5-4-3. With 56 big blinds to her name, she was still well behind the chip leaders, but back in the game.
Tim McDermott would soon bust in fourth place, receiving $335,200. The rungood then ran out for England as her A-7 all-in pre-flop lost to pocket 10’s (Q-9-7-2-J board). She received $448,755 for third place, nearly four times her previous live tournament earnings, after falling just short of becoming the third female to win a WPT title.
“What a crazy run,” England said to CardsChat News. “The was the most fun I have ever had.”
Chip lead never changed
Eveslage and Mike Liang began the day with more than 100 big blinds each, well ahead of the competition. Neither would ever lose control of their big stacks at the final table.
When Liang and Eveslage began heads-up play, both were above 100 big blinds, so it appeared they were in for a lengthy battle. But one cooler hand changed everything.
With Q-10 in the hole on a board of J-10-10-K-8, Liang moved all-in and was snap-called by Q-9, straight beating trips. That double-up gave Eveslage a 20-1 chip lead of which he never relinquished. The first-time World Poker Tour champion received $910,370 and the runner-up took home $606,890.